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Waves inside the rooms were created when a 75-lot single owner maritime collection was offered. It included seven Royal Doulton Lambeth stoneware models of tugs and lighters. Such pieces do not often appear at auction and, being in good condition, they pulled in interest way beyond their lowly estimates.

Leading the way was a c.1910, 10in (25cm) long model of the George Livesey for which a collector went to £1300 against an estimate of just £70-90.

Two 1920 8in (20cm) long models of the tug Glory, went to collectors at £620 and £660 and four pairs of 1920 Doulton stoneware lighters brought £500 apiece.

Ceramics, in fact, were the stars throughout the sale – the best being a c.1780 Staffordshire salt glazed jug. Enamelled in puce, blue, green, yellow and orange, the 7in (18cm) jug featured two panels depicting a gentleman in a puce jacket, blue shirt, yellow breeches and white stockings seated playing an oboe surrounded by trees and a fence and a further figure standing playing a flute with a castle in the distance.

Although the jug was not dated, it was inscribed William Dixson within a scrolling vignette. This inscription and the fact there was little flaking to the enamelling, ensured it was eagerly contested and it sold at £4000.

Although the sale was well-stocked with Staffordshire figures from a number of private vendors, only the best quality or most unusual entries got away with half of the 27 entries bought-in.

Among the successes were a late 19th century Indian elephant 10in (25cm) high with free moulded legs, which made £720 and two figures of Garibaldi, c.1865 and c.1862, which went at £320 and £440 to the same buyer.

One of the more unusual lots in the relatively uneventful furniture section was an early 20th century rocking horse. In need of considerable restoration, it lacked a mane, a tail and suffered paint losses. Despite its condition – making it rather late as a purchase aimed at the Christmas market – it went over estimate at £500 to a dealer.

Bonhams & Brooks, Honiton, December 14,15
Number of lots: 767
Lots sold: 558
Sale total: £100,000
Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent